Squad news

Q&A WITH TINO FERNŃNDEZ

29 Apr 2014
Deporís president explained many issues during a long interview at newspaper La Opiniůn A CoruŮa. Among other things he announced that the club already chose a sporting director for next season.

Extensive interview to Tino FernŠndez conducted by journalists Santiago Romero and Xosť Manuel Mallo from newspaper La Opiniůn A CoruŮa. Deporís boss talked of the payment of Deporís debt, the future sporting plans and even of Lendoiro. The following is a translation of the interview.

Q: Everyone takes for granted the promotion, are you already working on the team for Primera?
A: We are working thinking of Primera and Segunda. We must be rigorous. Now we have to bring the budget for next year. Weíve one for Primera and another for Segunda. We have to work on both scenarios.

Q: Is it a similar, higher or lower budget than the one had in the previous season at Primera?
A: I donít know. I have to refine the number. If it was it for me it would be higher. One of the key issues is the TV contract and here the reality is that Deportivo have already used future revenues. I have another meeting with Jaume Roures [president of Mediapro] to follow a path that remains open and evidently the scenery changes a lot from Segunda to Primera.

Q: Have you tried with Mediaproís competition?
A: For now we are talking to them, nothing more. Because there is also a signed contract. It might turn out, but the true is that Deportivo didnít fulfill the years we should have spent at Primera. Thus comes the problem of the five million. It ends this year, but since we didnít fulfill the clause it generated some extensions which could be solved, but the spirit is to have an agreement with them. If we donít reach an agreement then there will be another option. The relationship is still good.

Q: Itís known that Fernando Vazquez will continue. By contract or conviction?
A: It's for conviction. The relationship with the coach is fantastic and we are talking about next season, but will not announce anything, not even signings, while the season is not  over or at least until the promotion isnít mathematically secured, then we will begin to celebrate and announce things.

Q: Will Vazquez limits his job to the first team or will he control too the sporting structure?
A: For now we havenít talked about that. That's not the model that we are thinking, but itís not closed. Now we're just talking about what the first team needs. Thatís the commitment.

Q: Will we have a difference between the coach and the coordinator of the academy?
A: Yes. For now, yes. Although I donít want to close final versions that are actually open.

Q: The coaching staff is lame, you need a second coach.
A: Next year there will be a second coach. It was already spoken with Fernando and weíll announce it at the right moment. He knows and I know it.

Q: Will it be a second coach named by Deportivo or by Vazquez?
A: It's the same. Because we agree on it. It isnít an imposition of any side. I'm not thinking that Fernando leaves. I'm thinking to see him staying many years. The squad is built up thinking of him and will always be like that.

Q: Are the signings from Fernando Vazquez, Ernesto Bello or the sporting advisor?
A: From the team.

Q: Is it in the shadows the role of Ernesto Bello in the transfer market?
A: On the contrary, I think his work is appreciated. He had a more starring role doing the same thing he did before. The issue of football is a team effort and he has done a great job. The relation is great, he talks to Fernando Vidal every day. All proposals reached a very high level of consensus. It worked, but not only because the results are good, but because the process has been wonderful.

Q: This Segunda season seems weaker than other years. Do you fear the jump to Primera could be harder than in the previous promotion?
A: We could also say that the level has dropped at Primera, because a lot of players have left to other leagues. Every season you have to live with what you have. Obviously if you compete in a league in which one side spends twenty and the other spends one, then you end up noticing it. Moreover, the need is moving you to find solutions. Weíve done it in January, improving the team with the money we had.

Q: The choice of the new players will depend on the same core that are currently managing the situation or there will be novelties?
A: There will be some novelties, but the greater weight will be over the shoulders of the same core thatís managing it now. I donít know if all the sides involved are aware of the novelties, but some of them are.

Q: Is this novelty one of your decisions?
A: Itís mine, because in the end itís always like this, but itís already decided. Another thing is when you are going to announce it.

Q: Are you talking of a sporting director?
A: Sure. But we will not announce it until the season is over.

Q: I guess you wonít tell us the name.
A: It's someone really good that knows the subject very well.

Q: There are many players ending contract and many that are playing loaned. There will be a lot of signings
A: We will be there. There will be no problem, let's see how we face the situation. We need money, which is where the movie begins, and we have to adapt to what we have and letís see what we can do.

Q: And there could be exits too, like the one of Insua.
A: Insua has a new contract and, if they pay the clause, then he could leave.

Q: Why you donít make public the clauses?
A: Because it isnít a single clause and also because itís an element of competitiveness. You cannot show the cards to others. We donít want to teach others how we plan up the things. These are very good clauses that, except the big clubs, no one had in Spanish football, then there is no danger of seeing them taking the player. And if there is the chance to see him leaving, then itís great as it would be a good deal. For me our stage in a sporting sense must have two keys: to fulfil the terms and to see people knowing that they come to a club where you will collect your money without waiting, and neither forgiving anything when you leave.

Q: Will the years to come witness a team going up and down?
A: I donít think at all about it. Deportivo have to aspire to be a global brand, not just thinking in A CoruŮa and Galicia. We will not be Bayern Munich, but we can be up there as a great reference. Football is very changeable. Ten years ago we were playing the semifinals of the Champions League and are now in the second division. We'll see where we are in another ten years. Now we want to move up and settle at the Primera Divisiůn.

Q: You will have to start negotiating with the loaned players
A: We will have to talk to all the presidents of their parent clubs, with Ernesto Bello, VŠzquez, Fernando Vidal... You have to talk, but the key will be the money, as always. Itís a world that changes so much from Segunda to Primera. There are many people who want to work with us. We are receiving many calls.



Tino FernŠndez posing for the interview

Q: Will the club surpass the number of socios of the previous season at Primera?
A: I donít know. Let's try it.

Q: What would be the key to achieve this?
A: The key, and we're talking about a cheap fertilizer though it sounds strong to say right now, is to keep the prices in order to fill the field. We have the proposal. We must encourage people. The idea is to raise more money in the stadium but with more people. We need to bring a new socio that must report any benefit for the one carrying it to the club. We also want to energize one of the sources of income with the broadening of the Deportienda to Marineda [Marineda City, a big mall in A CoruŮa], place where the social events will be held.

Q: There is an agreement with the Treasury and the banks were always prone to reach an agreement; they even supported Depor in court against the Tax Agency. Is the distribution of the 21 million the stumbling block to close the deal between the three parties?
A: Sure. I think itís about to happen. I also believe that this arrangement has been pending due to the favorable decision made by the Provincial Court.

Q: What if the Treasury presents an appeal?
A: I donít know. We'll know in a few days. But now we have a judicial element that gives us the reason. We also thought in presenting an appeal in the event of losing. Nothing happens.

Q: There is unrest among the fans for the position of the administrators as they were supporting a lawsuit that threatened the continuity of Deportivo, as it was emphasized by the judges in the sentence. It is the second time the judges say they have no reason.
A: I coincided little time with the administrators, only a few weeks. While itís true that now they were against us, itís also true they helped us in the past with everything we asked.

Q: But if this would have worked out then it would have meant the death of the club.
A: Yeah, but these are professional things. We must learn to disagree without becoming technically enemies.

Q: The half-million of their wages is paid by Deportivo.
A: Thatís marked by the law as it has been part of the administration process. We paid what we had to pay. They, in this case, understood that it should be like this and we that the debt was well classified as it was decided by the bankruptcy judge.

Q: In the press conference, you said the privileged debt with the Treasury was 42 million, as the club was given 20 million that were sequestered. But that amount is pending of a deal between the Treasury and the banks. Depending on how is finally sorted, the debt with the Treasury may change.
A: Yes. For this reason I didnít want to concede the press conference, because you go out with a series of data that will change. But then people begin to say that we arenít transparent. But if I'll tell you everything, I should tell it at the end, with the final data. Because it changes. The debt is the same. But it changes even the viability plan. The portion of those 21 million that goes to the banks, will have to be added to those 42 million owed to the treasury. That money must be paid in nine years between now and 2023, it change the fees, because the debt with the banks will be paid in 15 or 17 years. So, it can mean one more million a year. Maybe it could end affecting you at the moment of signing a player.

Q: So do you think the banks will maintain a long-term payment?
A: Itís what has been spoken. But being at Primera I donít think we will need too much time.

Q: Looking back, the proposition of an agreement that was controversial before, it doesnít look bad now as you pay a good portion of the debt in 34 years. It doesnít seem bad.
A: Not bad, but it was spurred by the Treasury. If you put 28 million of the subordinated debt without interest then you start to pay in 17 years, a value that today comes to nothing.

Q: But that allows Deportivo to live.
A: Yes, but I think there were ways to live the same with a more homogeneous agreement. With less time than the 34 years and with a low yearly payment. Now, in the next 9 years, we have the worst part, but after that everything is easier, then the one coming behind me is going to face a more comfortable situation, though I donít know how long I'll be here. After that very little remains, the subordinate debt is laughable. I still say the problem is to reach a global agreement. The same agreement now is affordable at Primera, but very complicated at Segunda, make no mistake.

Q: In any case, the more interesting thing for the club, regarding the sentence, is that those 21 million that the Treasury wanted to collect in 9 years with interests, is now payable in 34 years without charge. And become only 14 million after the cut of the 33 %
A: True, but to force against other parties? For me the key is to reach an overall agreement among all. Because as far as I know, in July the Treasury was already renouncing to this classification of the privileged debt. I think that doing the negotiations by parts was bad business.

Q: On the street, there are still some doubts about the deadline to pay the privileged debt to the Treasury. In which case would be increased to ten and a half years?
A: In the case of playing at Segunda. The deadline is extended in six months for each year at Segunda, up to a limit of ten and half years, i.e. three seasons at Segunda. If you're only at Primera, then itís nine years. Well, they told me. 'You go to pay.' What happens is that nothing was paid here before, and no one was answering the phone. You have to go to Primera and make the payments. The third year you have a problem? Soledad GarcŪa (Director of Finance at the Department of Revenue) told me: when you start to see that you have trouble paying then call me and weíll see how to fix it, but donít invent things.

Q: Where do you expect to attract the 6 million required to increase the capital? The bankruptcy judge said at the time about this petition of the Treasury, which was 16 million before, that it shouldnít be assumed by the socios, who already make enough to pay their subscriptions.
A: You have to differentiate. The fan, the socio, is not forced to participate. Itís a matter of the owners, the shareholders. I think it will be a very comfortable extension and that's the idea: to maintain what we call Ďpopular capitalismí. The model is good, the effort is 45 euros per share, the majority of the shareholders have a small package and I think it should be covered smoothly. Maybe I 'm too optimistic. First there is a right of privileged subscription, big part of the money should came from there, and then the existing shareholders who want to increase their participation, as example small shareholders with two or three shares. We must also accommodate subscribers who are not shareholders and that want to participate. And the companies linked to Deportivo, who pay for the advertisement or buy stadium boxes. Itís true that the increase comes out from the petition of the Treasury, but the banks also ask for this and will probably ask some of that money for their agreement. I think itís normal that the creditors that have suffered the cut of the debt could ask now to see the owners putting something. This doesnít solve the whole problem, but it helps. I think that itís going to be fulfilled.

Q: Do the banks hold on the operation of forgiven the debt exchanging it for the fact of buying advertising at the stadium for an amount of 10 million?
A: Well, yes, they remove the debt indirectly, which is an expression that sometimes is used, but it is not a removal of the debt, not at all. We're giving them too. Itís an important purchase of long-term advertising that we must thank to Novagalicia, which is a great partner for the future of Deportivo. But now that amount is not repaid immediately, itís bought each year, with different prices at Primera and Segunda.

Q: After the electoral tension, did the relation with Lendoiro returned to what it was before or itís on standby?
A: Now itís on standby. We invite him to the stadium, but he thinks it's still a bit early. Of the previous board of directors I have only met with Pachi Dopico. I think you have to separate what was the election from the rest. We thought that his model was already worn at Deportivo, especially in business, but nothing more. We are all of Deportivo and we all want the best for the club. When I hear those controversial debates whether ďLendoiristasĒ or ďTinistasĒ it seems absurd. I donít want ďTinistasĒ, I want ďDeportivistasĒ.

Q: It was spread the rumor out there that Lendoiro might have something to do with la liga in the coming months.
A: Itís more than a rumor. I obviously support it and I supported it when he asked me. In all places where I have been asked for Augusto, I supported to see him having a position in the world of football, because itís an asset in that world. It is also good for Deportivo. I'm sure heís going to help Deportivo wherever he goes.

Q: How has affected your private life, especially your family, this double life of a businessman and football manager?
A: I still devoted to my family and dedicate the same hours. What I no longer have is other hobby, like football. Perhaps the place where it has affected me the most is my schedule at work, now I have to be more efficient there as I have less time to spend.

ARCHIVE NEWS APR/14

ZAPPING


Back to Interviews